THIRST MATE - FLOAT YOUR DRINK with UPCYCLED PLASTIC BOTTLES project video thumbnail
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$2,645 pledged of $40,000 goal
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By Drinker Toys
$2,645 pledged of $40,000 goal
backers

About

If you want to be the Captain on the water then you need a Thirst Mate! We need YOUR help to fight plastic bottle pollution one drink at a time and to help us mass produce the patent pending Thirst Mate here in the USA. Please make a pledge and get set to Float More Fun!

The Thirst Mate not only ramps up your fun on the water, it is a win for the environment. In 2012, only 30.8% of the 5.59 BILLION pounds of PET plastic bottles were recycled in the United States. That’s 3.87 BILLION pounds of plastic bottles going to the landfill or directly polluting our cities and waterways. By giving what was once a single use plastic bottle a second life, you’re making it valuable “on the front lines” without having to spend resources to collect, sort, transport and process a bottle for recycling or worse, sending it to the landfill. So upcycling is job creation for plastic bottles. It keeps them off the streets, out of trouble, and gives them purpose – floating your drink. WIN. WIN.

Have you ever found yourself having a great time on the water and then you realized “I need to put this drink down!”  Ever try to paddle a tube with one hand?  Chicken fight while holding your beer?  Catch a football and spill your drink all over yourself?  Float in the water while you’re holding your drink up in the air like a half sunken Statue of Liberty? Sure there are drink floats out there. I've tried a bunch BUT you know what? THEY DON'T WORK!

We experimented with other drink holders. They either wouldn’t fit a Koozie or a cup, would stick to your drink or hit you in the face when you took a drink, would easily be destroyed by the dog or just float away. They would just end up in the garbage on the way to the landfill.

We created the Thirst Mate so you CAN say “Hold my drink and watch this!” All you need to do now is figure out what you're going to do now that your drink is invincible on the water!

You might be thinking, “Why now?  I just put away my swimsuit and there's Christmas music playing in the Mall”.  Well, we are planning ahead for you. With the lead time for mold tooling and production, you’re pledge now means that we’ll be able to get your Thirst Mate produced, packed, shipped and delivered just in time for Spring 2015.

As you can see, we have a lot of color options for the Thirst Mate, but because of production limitations we can only make three colors including the Black Eco-Warrior edition.

WE WANT YOU, our backers to get what you want in a new product, so please take the Color Poll to vote for your top 3 favorite colors. Click here to cast your vote!  After we reach our goal, we'll make the first run of Thirst Mates in the two colors receiving the most votes and in Eco-Warrior Black.

More Colors!  For every $15,000 over our goal we can offer the Thirst Mate in an additional color, so keep sharing and keep voting for your favorite colors.

$60,000 – Thirst Mate Swivel Connector!  The next piece of the Drinker Toys family has two screw-top ends so you can connect two or more Thirst Mates together. With the Swivel Connector you can build chains, circles, or any other configuration that inspires you!

When we reach this goal, every backer pledging $25 or more will receive one (1) Thirst Mate Swivel Connector with their reward.  You can get more connectors by tacking on $3 per additional connector to your pledge.

Mold tooling is easily the most expensive and most time consuming part of manufacturing a new product and we really need your help to make it happen! The design is completed and a Ready-For-Production 3D model has been created. We've developed a relationship with a proven manufacturer, and once we reach our funding goal we can engage them to start making the mold for the Thirst Mate. We'll approve the samples from the tooling, and then we can move on to production and fulfillment.

The Thirst Mate had a quick inception once the technology tipped in our favor. You see, this summer we bought a Makerbot 3D printer.  We started printing out all kinds of useful things we found on the internet: household stuff, office stuff, garden stuff. Dave was getting good at printing other people's designs, but wanted to do more.  Having a strong software and application background but no 3D modeling experience, he designed and printed a few simple pieces and they worked great.  THIS WAS OUR "AH-HA!" MOMENT.  We could make whatever we wanted!  We started brainstorming on a floating drink holder.  Fifteen minutes later, Dave was putting our ideas into shape using TINKERCAD and within an hour we had the design for what we now call MK I (Mark 1) of the 'beer bouy'.  He set it up to print and by lunch the next day we had our first prototype and tested it in a ditch full of water behind the office.  We looked at each other and said "HOLY HELL! IT WORKS!"  

We spent the next several weeks going through design iterations and testing.  It was tough having to head to the pool so often :)

We grew up in South Florida and spent a lot of time at the beach and in the pool.  We built stuff all the time, starting with Legos and Lincoln Logs, followed by Tinker Toys, Erector sets and Capsela machines. We loved the creative freedom to build whatever our imaginations could conceive. The Thirst Mate is the first product in the Drinker Toys family.  Our vision is to develop a series of inter-connectable and infinitely configurable pieces that allow you to create more fun while you’re on the water.

Dave went on to Auburn (Mass Communications), and Pete went to Wake Forest (History) and got his MBA from Goizueta Business School at Emory.  We both migrated to Atlanta where we've been in business together since 1999 when we started a post-production company for film, television, and commercials.  Dave runs the creative/technology and Pete runs the business.  Since then we've grown into a production company, Labtopia Farms, where we are helping clients better tell their stories to connect and engage their customers. We've always had an eye on fun from the 24 foot fire pole in our first office and our epic Halloween parties, to Dave's self-balancing electric unicycle.  

The Thirst Mate is our way of bringing a little more fun into the world, and we're ready, willing, and able to work hard to make that happen.

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We can’t wait to say thank you for your support of our project, and in the meantime, we’d like to thank the folks who have helped us get to this point.

Camera: Chris Tsambis & Ace Harney
Music: Scott & Brendo - "One Afternoon"
Sound design: Curt Bush

Risks and challenges

Our biggest Challenge is making folks aware that although it's cold out now, we're getting things in production for spring. That's when most of you need a THIRST MATE.

We are very excited to bring the Thirst Mate into the world, and we are doing everything we can to make sure it is a fantastic experience for you, our backers. We have lots of experience in doing great work, delivering on time and on budget, and managing any hiccups along the way.

We also know when to bring in help. So we've been working with an Industrial Designer to build a "production ready" Thirst Mate model, and we're working with an injection molding company with over 40 years of experience in the industry who make millions of parts every year. We've got a very clear understanding of production costs and lead times, and we're ready to go with your support.

Each pledge brings us one step closer to our goal. Help us launch the Thirst Mate by clicking the ‘Back This Project’ button at the top of the page, and by helping us spread the word by sharing our page in your network and community.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    PERMISSION TO COME ABOARD!
    Thank you very much for your support! We will post a 'thank you' on our website and keep you posted on our progress with backer only updates.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Thirst Mate logo Koozie can holder. Keep your drink cool while you're floating on the water.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    FIRST MATES EARLY BIRD SUPPORTERS:
    Receive 1 Thirst Mate w/free shipping in the U.S.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Receive 1 Thirst Mate w/free shipping in the U.S.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    ECO-WARRIOR EDITION: Receive 1 Thirst Mate (black only) made from 100% recycled material w/free shipping in the U.S.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    NEVER DRINK ALONE:
    Receive 2 Thirst Mates w/free shipping in the U.S.

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    8 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    NO POOL, NO BOAT, NO PROBLEM - Thirst Mate logo T-Shirt with "Reuse-Refresh-Relax" design. 100% cotton screen printed premium t-shirt.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    ECO BUDDY SYSTEM:
    Receive 2 Eco-Warrior edition Thirst Mates (black only) w/free shipping in the U.S.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    THE DOUBLE DELUXE:
    Receive 2 Thirst Mates and 1 backpack cooler w/free shipping in the U.S.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    THE FLOATILLA:
    Receive 4 Thirst Mates and a drawstring travel bag w/free shipping in the U.S.

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    THE FLOATILLA DELUXE:
    Receive 4 Thirst Mates, a drawstring travel bag, and 1 backpack cooler w/free shipping in the U.S.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    THE HOLIDAY MAKER SPECIAL: Receive 1 LIMITED EDITION fully functional 3D Printed Thirst Mate prototype delivered in December 2014
    and
    Receive 1 Thirst Mate from the production run both w/free shipping in the U.S.

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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    BAND OF BROTHERS DELUXE:
    Receive 4 Eco-Warrior Edition Thirst Mates (black only), a drawstring travel bag, and 1 backpack cooler w/free shipping in the U.S.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    THE POOL PARTY: Receive 8 Thirst Mates, 2 drawstring travel bags, and 1 backpack cooler w/free shipping in the U.S.

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    6 backers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    THE THIRST FLEET:
    Receive 8 Eco-Warrior Edition Thirst Mates (black only), 2 drawstring travel bags, and 1 backpack cooler w/free shipping in the U.S.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    PRINT IT FORWARD: You send us your 3D model, and we'll print it with our Makerbot Replicator 5th Generation printer. This is what got us here and we'd like to help you with your product idea (max size 9.9 x 7.8 x 5.9 in). You'll also receive 2 Thirst Mates w/free shipping in the U.S.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ASK US ANYTHING: Receive two (2) half-hour sessions of one-on-one consultation with Pete and/or Dave in person in Atlanta or by phone/email/Skype. Pete can help you with business planning, product development, or your fantasy football lineup, and Dave can help you with your 3D printing, film editing, anything with a computer, or your RC Baja truck. You'll also receive 10 Thirst Mates w/free shipping in the U.S.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    MY DINGHY IS BIGGER THAN YOUR WHOLE BOAT! - You'll receive 12 Thirst Mates, 2 drawstring travel bags, and 2 backpack coolers, AND I will come to your town and man your bar at your next party or event. I would love to meet you and your friends, and give you a gigantic THANK YOU in person for your support, and I mix a pretty good drink!

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    ULTI-MATE TRIBUTE - PICK A COLOR AND NAME IT: We'll work with you to 1.) pick your favorite color and add it to the Thirst Mate offering, and 2.) name it whatever you want. It could be based on the name of your yacht or in honor of our favorite person, cause, or anything else that inspires you e.g. "Survivor Pink". You'll also receive 12 Thirst Mates, 2 drawstring travel bags, and 2 backpack coolers with shipping included.

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Funding period

- (31 days)